There is so much suffering in the world. Only selfless service can bring solace and strength to those in need. Serve with the feeling that God dwells in all and receives your service as worship. Be humble, be generous. Cheer up one who is in distress. Encourage one who is dispirited. Wipe the tears of the afflicted. Remove a person’s sorrow with loving words. Encourage the helpless and the forlorn. Make a person smile when he is in despair. These are all different forms of seva.
Be a lamp to those who have lost their way. Serving others selflessly prepares the heart and mind to receive the divine light. Seva, or selfless service of humanity, is the first step on the spiritual path. Meditation or samadhi is not possible without preliminary training in seva.
Seva is the salt of life. The meaning of true life is service and sacrifice. Hold your life for the service of others. The more energy you spend in elevating and serving others, the more divine energy will flow to you. To live life through seva is to be intimate with life’s innermost secret. The secret of attaining God-realization is serving humanity.
What is the object of seva or selfless service? Serving others helps to develop the human personality. It is the most effective method or sadhana for cleansing the mind and purifying the heart. Negative qualities constrict the heart and leave deposits on the mind, acting as a veil or thick crust to separate you from others. Selfless service breaks the veil, removes the crust and causes expansion of the heart.
Egoism, hatred, jealousy, prejudice and pride vanish. Humility, love, compassion and tolerance are developed. Selfishness is eradicated. You begin to feel the oneness or unity of life. You develop a broad heart with a broad, generous outlook on life. If you see God in everyone, if you have a generous heart, then and then alone can you do real service to the world.
At first you feel that you are doing all the work. However, in the course of time, when the heart becomes purer and purer, you will actually feel that a higher power is working through you. You will feel that your body and mind are only instruments in His hands.